Saturday was a call! - Tibbitts looked best for launch winds and it worked. - A slow start due to issue on the hill took an hour but that let the flats develop so it was likely a blessing in disguise.
Once again I have to thank Dr. David Wheeler for much of the flights success. - He is one of the site gurus and knew right where to go for the river crossing. -
I will post a longer recount of the flight but for now the high points were:
1. flying team with Dave for most the day.
2. Getting up and out from Tibbitts and making that call
3. a mega low save just short of Brewster on the flats
4. Big gift boomers over deep bandlands
5. gliding in and getting out of a locked encampment with Dogs.
I will fill in the details on these stories and more but just one for now.
The mega low save happened after I sent Dave on as I wasn't getting any and the day was late near the end of the flats. - I got up but then got drilled again and was comming in about 1 mile in from the rim in flat flat flat country. I was over a dirt plowed field and was hoping to make a green field just over some low power lines to the West of me. - On final death glide I noted a small dust devil forming to my 9 O'clock. Small it was but its dust was still higher than I was. Then another and another and a line of Dust devils set up perpendicular to my path but one field to my right.
Trying to explain why there were 4 mini Dust devils off to my right all in a line the line concept took over and I figured "convergence" (rim lift vs East Flow). If this was correct then it should continue over the field I was headed for only it was green so no dust. - Hang on this could be bad - flying low into this kind of lift, well anyway - very active flying and sure enough rather than turning on final I turned into a cranker that took me to 8,000ft msl. - And it was off to the races - transitioned over the river and into the high bad lands. - Then on glide with a 17 mph tail wind with nice lifters when needed. -
Amazing gifted flight.
Dave continued on but didn't get as fortunate in the badlands and landed half way to Omak or so. - Great flying with you Dave - And thanks
Forgot to mention: New Personal Best and Site Record 135.3k or 85 miles.
BTW we shared the air with at least 12 Sailplanes - 2 made close hauled fly bys.